Once again, symmetry. Six years ago, I wrote a post about my playthrough of Breath of the Wild, entitled ‘Random Focus‘. I was in a similar mood now.
Having saved the Rito, and having learned of the location of more glyphs, I set out to simply see what I could see. I had no clear path ahead of me; I was counting on the adventure bringing that path to light.
New tears yielded further story information. It seemed Zelda was eager to return to the present, which made sense, yet the act of ‘draconification’ was considered a risky one. If she were to ingest her secret stone (the tear-shaped pearl worn by the sages, and for that matter, the ancient King and Queen of Hyrule), she could become an immortal dragon, but at the cost of her mind. This didn’t seem especially practical, but it seemed Zelda was giving the idea serious thought.
As for me, I sent Link back to the depths. I was looking for a way into the Lost Woods, because I had 13 hearts now, and in Breath of the Wild, 13 had been the magic number to claim the Master Sword. Working on the assumption that the sword rested in the woods, and based on my earlier attempts to get in, I went underground, and tried to see if that would make a difference. Sure enough, I found the roots not only to shrines (and used them to clear away some of the darkness), but to the Great Deku Tree itself. The ascension power surprisingly worked as well, allowing me a passage to the surface, and to the Deku Tree, face-to-face.
The Deku Tree, and the surrounding Koroks, were not themselves. They were subdued, and did not speak. Memories of Ocarina of Time returned to me. In that game, you had to enter the tree to purge it of evil. It would prove true here as well. Within the tree, at the base, was a chasm leading back to the depths. Within it, a horde of the creepy gloomy hand monsters. A frantic fight ensued, and I had to withdraw on one occasion to resupply. Upon destroying these horrible enemies, a few foe presented itself…
It took a lot of hacking and slashing (and items to recover from the effects of gloom), but eventually, this beast was slain, and the gloom infecting the Deku Tree vanished. I acquired an impressive new weapon, a gloom blade, but it cost Link to use it, which was quite interesting. I returned to the surface, where the Deku Tree was relieved to be free of the gloom’s mire. It spoke to me of Zelda, and of the Master Sword, and advised me it could sense the sword’s presence, and that curiously enough, it was moving.
The Master Sword, even when damaged, was capable of regenerating, and it allegedly had limitless potential, if purified (another call-back to Skyward Sword). However, the question remained, where was it? If it was moving, it was being carried by someone, or something, and the Deku Tree seemed to believe it was soaring in the sky. With that in mind, and tracking its location via the map, I zipped up to the Sky City, and sure enough, the sword – and the creature carrying it – came into view.
To ensure I could reach the sword – and whatever held it – I took off in a glider, so as to preserve my stamina, until I got above where I needed to be. From there, what I was looking at became pretty clear…
There was something familiar about this dragon, and by now, all the dots were connecting. Zelda had consumed her secret stone, became a dragon, and bonded with the Master Sword. I took hold of it… and to my horror, learned that stamina, not hearts, was the key to releasing it. Argh! I didn’t have enough on my wheel, so I had to go off and seek out shrines. I was so close to the Master Sword I could taste it, but I had a lot of work to do if I wanted to get hold of it!
The memory of Ganondorf pledging fealty was an intriguing one. Surely no one would trust him, and sure enough no one did. At least common sense hadn’t completed deserted Hyrule.
One memory came my way that directly followed an earlier scene.
Ganondorf had acquired a secret stone, stolen from Queen Sonia, and the wedding of his evil and her power unleashed something truly terrible.
Ganon covered the land with evil monsters, and set the stage for a reign of terror.
Once I had a bit more stamina, I tried again for the sword, and once more, I failed. Cue still more shrine hunting. I was determined to have that blade! I completed a ring of stamina…
Woo! The Master Sword was mine once more. It felt like I had hit a major milestone. In my head, it felt like now was the time to kick some ass.